North America’s nearly forgotten language

Even before I saw the water, I heard the rumble. Sounding like a river or a waterfall, the noise was gently muffled by the sword ferns and step moss as it reverberated through the sky-scraping red cedars and Douglas firs. What I was hearing was not a river, and if I’d come along this trail [...]

By |2018-10-03T17:43:23+00:00October 3rd, 2018|Chinook Jargon, Chinook Wawa, Language, North America|0 Comments

Saving languages

An entire community had cause to celebrate when 11 Six Nations Polytechnic students graduated with the first bachelor of arts degree in Ogwehoweh languages. "It's been a long road to get here, involving countless people over many years of hard work, long hours of curriculum development, and not to mention weeks of studying by each [...]

To save their dying language, the Arapaho turn to high-tech apps, old-school flash cards and a new generation

When Marlin Spoonhunter returned to the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming after decades working as an educator in Montana, he realized that something crucial, something elemental to his Northern Arapaho identity, had escaped him — the language. “When I’d hear older people talking, I didn’t know what they were saying,” says Spoonhunter, now president [...]

University of Toronto professors fight to save dying Indigenous languages

The Indigenous language Ryan DeCaire is fighting to save isn't one he spoke regularly — or fluently — while growing up on Wahta Mohawk territory. "People [with Mohawk ancestry] are saying words like, 'hello', 'goodbye', 1,2,3' but is that all there is?," DeCaire asked himself. The questions spurred him to realize that the only people [...]

By |2017-02-11T17:01:35+00:00February 12th, 2017|Canada, Indigenous languages, North America|0 Comments

One of the world’s oldest languages teaches hidden life lessons

If, a few millennia ago, you had been hunting a woolly mammoth, you would have discussed your plan of attack in a version of a language that is still alive today—though just barely. Ojibwe language expert James Vukelich (Kaagegaabaw) visited Stillwater Public Library in January to share some of that language with attendees of the [...]

North America’s native languages get higher education boost

Among the many institutions in North America that memorialise the native population is Miami University in Ohio, named after the Miami tribe that once spread from the state across vast sections of what is now the United States. It is an ironic tribute considering the treatment of the Miami people, who were attacked by whites [...]